2019 Cricket World Cup: Disappointing England stumble to Pakistan defeat
Roy put down high-scoring Hafeez before failing with the bat (Photo: Getty Images)

Pakistan put their World Cup ambitions back on track with a thrilling 14-run victory over England and Trent Bridge.

After being rumbled 4-0 by England just a matter of weeks ago, Pakistan went into this contest on the back of a 12-game losing streak, including a hammering by the pace bowling of West Indies only a few days ago.

Replacing Liam Plunkett with paceman Mark Wood, the home side looked to reciprocate the performance of West Indies with sheer speed. Ironically, it was the absence of Plunkett in the middle overs of Pakistan's innings that were sorely missed.

Fielding failures

Winning the toss and electing to field, the decision of choice for this modern England side, the tone was set by the hosts as early as the fourth ball when a misfield became contagious for almost every player wearing light blue.

The Pakistan upper order put England to the sword from the word go as the home bowling attack picked up just four wickets in the opening 40 overs. It was during the middle overs, 11-40, that Pakistan made it clear they were going to total a heavy score.

Without Plunkett, who has picked up more wickets in that period of the game than any every player in international cricket since the last World Cup, Mohammad Hafeez took advantage of being dropped by Jason Roy on 14, adding another 70 before he was eventually dismissed at 279-4.

Despite losing regular wickets in the final overs, Pakistan still worked their way to 348-8 as Moeen Ali came away with figures of 3-50 with all three wickets dismissing the Pakistan top trio. Without his interventions, the visitors could have easily posted a score closer to 400.

Chris Woakes also picked up the same number of wickets, along with four catches, including a couple of outstanding diving claims. Yet he was also guilty of a number of misfields and was bludgeoned away at an economy of 8.88. It was synonymous of an unusual day for the majority of the England squad.

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Two centurions but England still fall short

Even before the midway point of their attempted World Cup record run chase, England looked to be on the verge of a heavy defeat. Falling to 118-4, with Jonny Bairstow the only one of the quartet dismissed to score a relatively notable total, the hosts looked towards their deep batting line-up to dig them out of a hole.

Joe Root, dropped on nine, and Jos Buttler built a partnership of 130 from 122 balls as they gave their side a fighting chance. Whilst the former played elegant shots all around the wicket, the latter smashed his way with usual heavy-hitting, underpinned by boundaries bringing up his two milestones.

When Root was eventually dismissed for 107, England needed 101 from 67 balls to complete the comeback. Yet, like Root and a trio of players against South Africa on Thursday, Buttler failed to convert his milestone to an even greater total and joined Root in the pavilion just four overs later.

Wahab Riaz set about killing off the contest as he contributed to three wickets in just six deliveries. After dismissing Moeen and Woakes in consecutive balls, he caught Jofra Archer off the bowling of Mohammad Amir. Riaz then held his nerve to bowl out the final over as England fell 14 runs short.

A lot to think about before they face Bangladesh on Saturday.